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See more synonyms for heartrending on Thesaurus.com
  1. causing or expressing intense grief, anguish, or distress.
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Origin of heartrending

First recorded in 1680–90; heart + rending
Related formsheart·rend·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgut-wrenching heartrending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for heartrending

distressing, excruciating, sad, heartbreaking, touching, tragic, agonizing, harrowing, doleful, moving, piteous, pitiful

Examples from the Web for heartrending

Contemporary Examples of heartrending

Historical Examples of heartrending

  • The case of Nick, although sore enough in its way, was not so heartrending as that of Kate.


    Scian Dubh

  • I rolled about on the ground, uttering the most heartrending cries.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The scenes on the decks of the sinking liner were heartrending.

  • Now and again he let himself be caught by the heartrending accents of his wife.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • The next morning there came a heartrending letter from Aunt Ju.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope